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LAF Case Study Investigation (CSI): Design Firms Needed

This summer LAF kicks off Case Study Investigation (CSI), a unique research collaboration among select practitioners, LAF Research Fellows, and student research assistants to produce new Landscape Performance Series Case Study Briefs.

csi-graphic-v2To support firms in documenting high-performing landscape projects, LAF is awarding Research Fellowships to leading faculty and will match firms with student-faculty teams. During the Summer 2011 under the guidance of an LAF Research Fellow, research assistants will work with firm project leaders to produce Case Study Briefs by quantifying economic, social and environmental benefits, collecting post-occupancy data, and compiling methodologies.

Design Firms are needed for participation.

If you have 3-5 exemplary built projects with quantified or quantifiable landscape benefits and can commit to work with an LAF student research assistant, please return the Proposal Form by April 18 to to be considered for the program.

Upon selection, we will pair your firm with a faculty-student team and work with you to set objectives and a schedule for the initiative. The faculty-student team may identify topical performance benefits or project conditions for additional, published research.

Your documented work is critically needed by designers, policy-makers, advocates, and other professionals both inside and outside the profession who are working toward sustainability and affecting change. Inclusion in the Landscape Performance Series shows your thought leadership to a world-wide audience, as the LPS becomes the go-to place for resources to quantify benefits and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions.

Olmsted Scholar Feature: Connecting Eugene - Downtown | Campus | Waterfront

by Christo Brehm, 2010 Olmsted Scholar

During the spring of 2009, about eight months before I was selected as the 2010 Olmsted Scholar at the University of Oregon, I became involved in a significant land use debate affecting valuable University-owned property on the banks of the Willamette River. I am writing this blog posting to give readers an update about that work.

First, the essential background information: In April 2009, a planning and design studio led by professors Ron Lovinger and Thomas Oles at the University of Oregon developed a compelling master plan to connect the University campus to downtown Eugene by way of the Willamette River waterfront. During the studio, we became aware of a University project to enter into a long term ground lease with a private developer to construct a 200-car surface parking lot and generic office building along the banks of the river, precisely at the nexus of that connection between the campus and downtown. The 4.3 acre construction site is part of a larger 67-acre area of riverfront property called the Riverfront Research Park. The research park, as crafted in the mid 1980s, was intended to be a thriving suburban-style office park but has been largely unsuccessful. Only a fraction of the land was ever developed.


A team of faculty, students, and community partners (now known as Connecting Eugene) responded by organizing and facilitating a series of stakeholder meetings. Connecting Eugene also initiated public dialogue by appealing a conditional use permit timeline extension with the City of Eugene. We then helped to mobilize the University senate and student government to pass a series of formal resolutions calling for responsible development on the University-owned riverfront property. Even in the face of formal resolutions from its Senate, several academic departments, and hundreds of students, the University administration feels bound to bring the proposed project to completion without updating the outdated 1989 master plan.


Earlier this month, the University of Oregon student government awarded our group, Connecting Eugene, $56,000 to support a new master planning process for the university owned riverfront property.  We will be collaborating with the American Society of Landscape Architects UO student chapter beginning with a design charrette in April 2011 at the annual HOPES conference in Eugene (Holistic Options for Planet Earth Sustainability). Based on the work that comes out of that largely student focused charrette, we will organize a larger scale public charrette during the coming summer months with the assistance of supporting faculty and practicing professionals.  

We are looking for guest speakers and experts whom we can bring to the Oregon campus from across the country to share new ways of understanding our riverfront property, to give public lectures on riverfront development, and to help inform appropriate design options for this valuable riverfront property.

Christo Brehm has completed coursework for the Master of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Oregon, and is now in the final phase of his masters thesis. He is assisting with teaching and research in his department and seeking opportunities to gain professional practice experience. 

LAF's 26th Annual Benefit: Exclusive Reception for Early Sponsors

LAF announces opportunities for sponsorship of its 26th Annual Benefit, The Sky’s the Limit, on October 30 at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego, California. This high-visibility event, held in conjunction with the ASLA Annual Meeting, draws over 300 guests from the design, building, and sustainability industries. LAF also recognizes the 2011 Olmsted Scholars, the premier national award program for landscape architecture students.

2011benefitroofBenefit sponsors who commit by April 30 also receive an invitation to an exclusive dinner reception on the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, DC on Friday, May 6. This coveted event provides a unique opportunity to interact in a small-group setting with members of the LAF Board of Directors, leaders at some of the top firms in the industry.

Sponsorships are available at the $25,000, $15,000, $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500 levels. To take advantage of this exclusive opportunity, download a Sponsor Registration Form or contact Dabney Kerr at or 202-331-7070 x13.

LAF’s 2010 Annual Benefit was completely sold-out and raised over $100,000 to support our research and scholarship programs. With your support, we expect 2011 to be an even greater success!

2011 Sweepstakes Destinations Announced

sweepstakescrosswatersFor our 3rd Annual Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes, LAF is pleased to announce not one but two vacation packages — one international and one domestic.

The first is an all expense paid, week-long trip for two to EDSA’s Crosswaters Ecolodge & Spa, located in the Nankun Mountain Reserve in Guangdong Province, China. This award-winning resort is one of the first ecotourism destinations in China. See our blog for a trip report from a previous sweepstakes winner.

sweepstakescarnerosThe second destination is OLIN’s Carneros Inn, located between the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California. This vineyard oasis is nestled among 27 acres of seemingly endless rows of grape vines and scenic apple orchards. It offers private gardens, spa treatments, and dining using the region’s best artisanal ingredients.

The Sweepstakes page will be updated as we have more details. Registration officially kick offs in the fall, with the drawing for winners made on Nov 1 at the ASLA Annual Meeting EXPO. All proceeds support LAF’s research and scholarship programs. Many thanks to EDSA and OLIN for providing LAF with this generous opportunity.

Three New Opportunities for Faculty

LAF is delighted to offer three opportunities to support academic research related to landscape performance. Accepted works will be included in the Landscape Performance Series. For more information, contact Linda Ashby at

LAF Fellowship Program for Faculty

Proposals due April 18

LAF is offering a new and exclusive fellowship opportunity for select faculty with achievements related to landscape performance. LAF Research Fellows receive funding to support a graduate assistant and work with leading firms to produce case studies of exemplary high-performing landscapes. Fellows will lead this unique collaboration, providing guidance to collect post-occupancy information and quantify environmental, economic and social benefits.

For more information and to apply, download a Fellowship Announcement & Proposal Form. To be considered, completed proposals must be submitted to by April 18.

Call for Case Studies

Letter of Intent due April 15; Case Study due June 1

The LPS Case Study Briefs showcase exemplary built projects with quantified environmental, economic, and social benefits. LAF offers an opportunity for faculty and researchers to contribute to this online database while earning authorship through a double-blind peer-review process. To do this, authors submit a case study following LAF’s online guidance along with two additional requirements:
      -  Literature Review / Best Practices Review
      -  Document on Applicability to the Profession

To participate, submit a Letter of Intent to by April 15. The one-page letter should contain an abstract of the proposed case study with information about the project, objectives, approach, key performance benefits and outcome.

Important Dates
April 15, 2011        Letter of Intent Due
June 1, 2011         Case Study Submissions Due
August 1, 2011      Review Committee Comments and Requests for Revisions Sent
October 1, 2011    Revised Submissions Due

Call for Scholarly Works

Due June 15

LAF is expanding the LPS Scholarly Works to include faculty research papers, journal articles, and conference proceedings related to landscape performance. Topics include research on the benefits of landscape, post occupancy evaluations, and applications of existing research to determine benefits for existing or proposed projects or policies.

Reseachers may submit any of the following to by June 15 to be considered for inclusion in the LPS:
      -  Abstract of your published paper with link to access full text through the publisher’s database
      -  Conference proceedings of which you hold the copyright
      -  Peer-reviewed paper of which you hold the copyright

All submissions must be relevant to landscape performance and will be reviewed to ensure they meet LAF standards.

Important Dates
June 15, 2011         Scholarly Works Submissions Due
August 15, 2011      Notification of Acceptance